Assessing the IPAC Situation
Whether dealing with a victim, suspect, witness, complainant, patient, inmate or resident, Emergency Service Workers (ESWs) and Justice Service Workers (JSWs) are urged to perform situational risk assessments for IPAC in order to assist them with creating a strategy of protection from communicable disease.
Situations may change several times before the incident is completed, and each change requires a new and appropriate strategic response to protect both the ESW/JSW and the client from exposure to communicable disease. The Personal Protection Strategy is an ongoing process that has the worker establish a continual flow from Assessment to Planning to Action and back to Assessment, where the process may start again.
Risk from communicable disease may be present in the work environment even without the presence of another person. The ESW/JSW is encouraged to go about their work environments considering all IPAC risks. All high-touch surfaces and items such as sharps or previously used equipment can serve as a reservoir for communicable disease without another person being there.
The demeanour of the client also requires assessment. The ESW/JSW must evaluate the client not only for signs and symptoms of injury and illness, but also whether or not the client is behaving in a co-operative or non-co-operative manner, all of which will impact the IPAC risk to the worker.
Assessment of the situation should start as soon as information is given via 911 dispatch and through both the everyday and emergency internal communications at the Correctional or Youth Centre.
For more information, resources and teaching tools related to the PPS, please click on the Resources section of the webpage. Available to Members Only.